Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brown fat fuels fight against obesity

Experts may have found a new method for assessing adipose tissue function that could be used in the fight against obesity. Thermal imaging of the head, neck, and shoulder area on exposure to a "cool challenge" can indicate the site and position of brown adipose tissue (BAT), the tissue that expends more heat energy than any other type in the body. "Potentially, the more brown fat you have or the more active your brown fat is you produce more heat and as a result you might be less likely to lay down excess energy or food as white fat," explained lead author Michael Symonds (Nottingham University, UK) in a press statement. Currently, the main methods of assessing BAT include positron-emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT) scanning, and/or tissue scanning, but these techniques are expensive and require either the administration of radiopharmaceuticals or tissue sampling, explains the team

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